Slide by Jill Hathaway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.
Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.
Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.
This book is an emotional mystery story that is really cleverly done. Sylvia (Vee) has been diagnosed with narcolepsy because she falls asleep suddenly and without warning. However the truth is much more sinister than that. When Vee goes out, she "slides" into someone else- someone with a connection to something that she has recently touched, and is forced to watch as an observer through their eyes. She has seen a teacher's affair with a bus driver, another teacher sneak a drink from a hidden bottle, and heard conversations and secrets that she shouldn't have been privy to.
When she one day sees her sister's best friend being bullied and ignored, and then later sees her dead body through the eyes of the killer, only Vee knows that it wasn't a suicide as everyone suspects. However, she doesn't know who the killer was, and she can't reveal her secret, and therefore can't tell anybody what she knows. Vee has to try to work out who murdered Sophie by piecing together the clues and secrets that only she knows, and narrowing down the many possible suspects.
This was such a great book but darker and more sinister than I was initally expecting. I loved the complexity of the relationships between all the different characters, especially the high-schoolers. You really get a sense of the history between them all, and a whole past of friendships, crushes, and old resentments. But I also felt the awkward relationship that Vee has with her father, and her resentment of how much he leans on her since her mother's death. The characters and the psychological aspect as a whole are really well done in this book.
The other great thing is the mystery that is set up. It kept me guessing and making false assumptions throughout all the different twists and new revelations, and was very clever. New tidbits of information gradually come out and your perceptions of a character can suddenly change and your suspicions shift with each new revelation. For a fairly short book (250 pages) a lot is put into it, and I was left with a real understanding of these people and their town. I loved this book- I was gripped and intrigued, and saddened and moved, and elated all at different points. Highly recommended.
This is due to be published March 2012
Thanks to Harper Collins publishers and UK Book Tours for providing an advance copy for review.